Australian TV lighting designer Ian Anderson (of Mitech Design) wasted no time in commandeering GLP’s new LED-based impression X4 Bars as soon as they arrived in the country, pressing them into service on the latest series of X Factor.
The inventory was provided by Show Technology, the German manufacturer’s exclusive distributor.
The order was processed by Søren Storm from GLP’s Singapore base, while Ian Anderson admits, “As soon as the demo stock arrived at Show Technology, I grabbed them.” He was soon deploying as many as 18 of the 20” and 40” high performance battens within the set, knowing that the 7:1 zoom range would give him the option of creating either a narrow angle light curtain or a wide angle backlight / wash.
Constantly striving to improve the cosmetic look of the X Factor set he said that the X4 Bars provided easy and straightforward integration. “We often have completely different floor packages for performances that we can wheel on and off — usually within a three-minute commercial break — and the Bars were perfect in that respect.”
Anderson has now served as lighting director on all six series of the X Factor franchise, which is beamed live to air from Stage 5 at Fox Studio in Sydney, and is produced by Fremantle Media Australia for the Seven Network. And for the last four series Mitech Design have also provided technical production management services.
Other than the X4 Bars over the years he has used many of GLP’s impression series, including X4, X4S, Impression 90 and Impression 120 on many TV shows for which he has been responsible — often supplied by major rental company, Chameleon Touring Systems.
“Equally the support from the team at Show Technology is always exceptional,” he says.
Any skepticism as to how they might read to camera was immediately overcome. “I was unsure how the X4 Bars would look on television, as so often we see LED products that just can’t keep a clean beam look on camera. But as soon as I saw them I knew they were going to be perfect.
“The zoom in them is superb. It really makes all the difference on camera to be able to get a very clean beam to cut through all the other elements, whether it be moving lights or the hundreds of square meters of video screens we have. As with all the X4 products the color rendition is great especially in the reds and ambers.”
In addition to their high quality optics, the fixtures also boast exceptional dimming, which ensures smooth even fades without color shift, as well as full pixel mapping capabilities and a motorized tilt, for fast refocusing.
Summing up, Ian Anderson says, “We have a pretty tight creative team and when one of us suggests something new we all just tend to want to make it work. The team fell in love with the Bars instantly. They have been operating flawlessly, and we are about to give them another run — but this time flown.
“Although this has been my first outing with the Bars it certainly won’t be the last!”
Photos: X Factor contestants Mahalia Simpson and Matt Price
Pictures credit: Tarsha Hosking